Georges St-Pierre's coach Firas Zahabi has stated that he thinks Conor McGregor's ability to counterpunch sets him apart from any other UFC fighter. He even included Israel Adesanya in that list, who is hailed for his dexterity in striking.
Firas Zahabi, GSP's trainer and the head coach of Tristar Gym located in Canada, started coaching the legendary French-Canadian from 2008 after he succumbed to a defeat against Matt Sera in 2007.
While analyzing the upcoming fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirer on Tristar Gym's YouTube channel, Zahabi noted that the Irish fighter is among the greatest strikers of all time and his that punching skills are a cut above Adesanya.
"When it strictly comes down to punching, Adesanya is a great puncher, we saw his last fight against (Paulo) Costa, kick, kick, kick, and then he threw a flurry, and yes, those flurries had punches in them, and then he came back with a second flurry and landed a K.O. However, the leg-kick set up those punches. McGregor also kicks, but that's not his prime weapon, yes, he is a great kicker, McGregor is a great kicker, Adesanya is a great puncher, but I am telling you that McGregor's counter punching is (at) higher (level) than Adesanya's," said Zahabi.
Zahabi also added that even though McGregor's counterpunching skills may be better than Adesanya's, 'The Last Stylebender's' all-round striking prowess is at a different level.
"Adesanya's kicking, kneeing, and elbowing, and kick punch combinations, I would say it's even higher[than McGregor]. But, McGregor has one thing higher than Adesanya, and that's his ability to land a counterpunch. He's a phenomenal counter puncher and this is why I think he is going to win this fight (against Dustin Poirier)," said Zahabi.
A record that both Conor McGregor and Israel Adesanya claim to hold
Both Conor McGregor and Israel Adesanya have had the UFC gold dangle around their waist in their respective divisions, and they also hold multiple records under their belt. However, there exists one record that 'The Notorious' and The Last Stylebender both lay claim to.
According to McGregor, the record of most knockdowns in a UFC title fight belongs to him for his UFC 205 performance against Eddie Alvarez.
However, the current middleweight champion registered four knockdowns in his five-round interm title slugfest against Kelvin Gastelum, which is acknowledged even by the UFC. Still, the Irishman claims that he knocked down Eddie Alvarez five times to dethrone the then-lightweight champ. However, one of the knockdowns - when Alvarez momentarily was sent to one knee after an elbow from McGregor - wasn't officially registered.
Either way, we can agree that both men are among the best strikers ever to grace the UFC.Published 07 Jan 2021, 18:47 IST